Top Five Most Memorable Moments, Events at NDA

Maureen Schick , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

# 1  Mr. NDA

This number one event is definitely the most memorable. From flips off the wall to unexpected dances to new-found talents and fantastic voices, Mr. NDA is talked about for days, weeks, months and even years after the night has passed.

Even the very first Mr. NDA is still remembered and talked about throughout the hallways and classrooms. Mrs. Brown, who initially started the Mr. NDA event, recalls how different the very first production was in comparison to today’s event.

“We had had the ramp built, used Christmas lights for the show (rather basic decorations), and had simple tuxedo entrances–walk out and blow a kiss to the crowd kind of stuff–everything was so simple compared to today.  BUT the crowd loved it!”

Even the talent acts were vastly different from the normal acts of today’s shows. Mrs. Brown recalls that “one guy ate goldfish (22 with the audience counting).  Another swallowed a chain and “played” it through his nose to music–that is, he slid it back and forth like it was playing to the music –under a spotlight, of course.”

Max Roitstein, junior, notices there is a “hype” surrounding the weeks before Mr. NDA, and it is “fun to see what acts will be performed.” These skits are always heavily hidden until showcased during the performance.

Throughout the years, one thing is for sure; from the anxious voting to find the lucky 15 who will be in the show, to the unveiling of the newly crowned Mr. NDA, this is a phenomenal production that is remembered for years after by the many students who attend.

#2  Mr. Masarik forgetting the words to the Hail Mary during announcements.

Who could forget this memorable event? When someone goes onto the morning announcements, with each and every classroom and student listening to the one voice, there is a lot of pressure on the speaker.

In this case, it was our very own Associate Principal, Mr. Greg Masarik, who made the mistake of forgetting one of the most well-known prayers: the Hail Mary. When asked about what happened on that day, Mr. Masarik explained that when he got to school that morning, “The bell rang and no one was in the room. So I thought to myself, OK, I’ve got prayer. What prayer am I going to do? So I think, OK, the Hail Mary. I’ve known the prayer forever.”

He then went on to explain that he was saying it completely by himself, and suddenly, “I just blanked, and I just said ‘Ah.. you keep going, and I’ll catch up with you at the end.’”

To many of the students, this event seemed to make Mr. Masarik more approachable as a person because, let’s face it,  teachers and staff don’t often make mistakes in front of students. To be able to see that they make mistakes just as students do helps us remember that they are just as human as we are.

#3  Friday Night Lights

Notre Dame carries a long-standing tradition of winning with its athletic teams. There is no exception with the Boys Varsity Football Team. Many of Notre Dame’s students, faculty and staff all head out to the Ted Fritsche Field on Friday nights to cheer on the Tritons as they take on different opponents from the area.

Junior Emma Neumeyer loves going to the games because “it gives our school a sense of pride and spirit when you see so many of the students here cheering and representing our school.”

NDA’s pep band, under the direction of Mr. Hill and the drum majors, is also present for every home game.  Decked out in the theme dress of the game, the band members play the school song and various theme songs that get the crowd excited during the game.

Vinny Pallini, a junior kicker on the team, echoes this and says his “classmates and the band really get the team going when the momentum is going our way.” This may be due to the various cheers the Fanman, Mermaid and school band lead the student body in during the game.

Jessica Reigh, the Mermaid this year, recalled that the “first game of the year was definitely my favorite because despite being on a Thursday, everyone was so excited about it.” She also remembers that one of her favorite moments in the stands was “looking up and seeing all the underclassmen cheering and having a great time.”

Many other students love getting ready for the games and even attending the tailgates that famously occur in the parking lot around 5:30 prior to the game. During these tailgates, students eat and get ready for the game together.

Another tradition at Notre Dame is that Friday morning at school, the Fanman and Mermaid perform a “rap” that is sung about the various football players, staff and other students, and the theme for that night’s game is announced as well.  Junior Steven Strutt explains that “the best part about the football games are the different themes.”

There are different themes for each game, and these themes are chosen by the Fanman and Mermaid. Among the favorites are neon-out, American theme, Triton spirit and Prep-Out. Whatever the theme, Tritons go all out for each theme. Students can be spotted wearing some of the most creative and outgoing outfits, and these are where the memories just begin!

Not only is being in the stands memorable, but even just being on the field is memorable, according to Vinny Pallini. He simply enjoys “getting to celebrate big plays with my teammates and just having fun out there.” He also mentions that it is “really cool walking down the halls that next Monday with everyone congratulating you after a big win.”

So whether it’s neon-out, 80’s, Triton Spirit, or White-Out, Triton students are sure to have a great time tailgating and enjoying the Triton wins underneath the Friday night lights.

#4  Powderpuff

This year, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior boys decided to bring back a great tradition to Notre Dame Academy: girls powderpuff football. This tradition, which started 19  years ago with the first celebration of Fall Festival Week, called for each class at NDA to produce one girls’ football team to compete for the coveted First-Place Trophy and a chance to have all bragging rights until the next year.

Many of the girls jumped at the idea, and four teams were quickly fielded. There were practices held, shirts made or bought, plays drawn and positions sought after. Junior Maddie Brusda “loved the whole thing, but the best part was the Saturday morning right before Fallfest when we finally got to play.”

There were even a few practices held beforehand to get the teams ready. At these practices, which took place in the early mornings, the girls practiced different plays and lineups.

Liz Markland added that powderpuff was so fun because “I got to play a sport girls normally never get to play.”

On the morning of Fallfest, the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior girls and their coaches all  headed out to the Ted Fritsche field together as the games began. There were even some senior men that reffed the games to make sure everything was fair.

After a few hours, the champions would be determined in one game. In typical hierarchy fashion, it would come down to the juniors or the seniors to take home the gold.

However, it was the seniors, after scoring on a controversial call, who came out on top.

Junior Emma Neumeyer was one junior who was not happy with the call. She explained, “It was a totally unfair call! The ball should have been ours, but the seniors got it and scored and just like that the game was over, but we are only looking forward to next year now.”

It seems as though next year the juniors will be looking for revenge and a chance to have all bragging rights in the future.

Even though only one team came out on top, most will agree that this was a competitive and exciting morning full of laughter and a handful of memories.

#5  Fall Fest, Sweethearts and Prom

Fall Fest, Sweethearts and Prom are all monumental events at Notre Dame. Although there are different customs for each dance, they all arrive with the same amount of excitement and apprehension. Either way, these dances are a way to let loose and to see your classmates in a completely different environment.

Although there are some debates as to which dance is the most fun, all the dances leave students with numerous amounts of memories to carry with them through the years.

Junior Liz Markland echoes this idea and states she enjoys Fall Fest because “they brought back powderpuff during Fall Fest week, which was really fun.” She also explains that there is usually “nicer weather” during Fall Fest, which occurs around October.

Sweethearts is often fun as well because this time it’s switched and the girls have the pressure of asking the boy to the dance. Although many girls don’t like this pressure, the boys seem to love it.

Blake Olejniczak, a junior, is among those that are happy with the tables turned, and he explained, “It makes me feel wanted, and I don’t have to buy dinner.”

However, Halie Ferry, a senior, explains that she likes Prom better because “you’re together with everyone from dinner to the dance through the water park.” This allows classmates to grow closer throughout the night as they are together from when they arrive until they leave.

Prom is also only open to Juniors and Seniors, which many students like because it is a time to grow closer to the classmates in their grades. It also gives the younger students something to look forward to when they are only freshmen and sophomores.

Whether you are attending Fall Fest, Sweethearts or Prom  with friends or with a date, you are sure to have a blast and make mountains of memories while dancing the night away.